Dr. Girdner's Telephonic Bullet Probe. John Harvey Girdner, M. D., A. B., Alexander Graham Bell, President Garfield.
Bullet Probe Technology Borrowed from Alexander Graham Bell

Dr. Girdner's Telephonic Bullet Probe

[ New York ]: [ 1887 ]. 4 pages. 9 x 12 inches. An extract from the New York Medical Journal of April 9th, 1887, this brochure is in effect an advertisement for Dr. Girdner's Telephonic Bullet Probe in conjunction with the Hazard, Hazard & Co. manufacturers, the only place "a reliable instrument can be had at present" according to the brochure. Old folds from mailing. Tears at the folds and chipping not affecting the text in the margins. Stabilized with archival tape at several folds. Nicely illustrated with cuts from Hazard, Hazard & Co. Good. Pamphlet. [23013]


In July 1881 President Garfield was shot in the back by Charles Guiteau. The bullet proved hard to locate given the investigatory procedures of the day. Alexander Graham Bell tried to make a new tool using balanced induction coils to determine where the bullet was located. The tool failed because the bullet was too far removed from the surface (this was discovered after the fact). Bell returned home, and experimented frantically, trying to find another solution, and invented a "Telephonic Bullet Probe" which could be used for such applications, but Garfield had died in the interim. He later showed physicians this new tool, and Dr. Girdner was present at those experiments. Some years later, Girdner started using the tool in his own practice, and advertising it. The present offering is an example of that advertising derived from a "report" in the New York Medical Journal of it's history and current application. While in this brochure he gives proper credit to Alexander Graham Bell it turns out that this didn't remain the case for long. He eventually claimed the invention as his own, something Bell was apparently aware of but didn't protest. (See Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude by Robert V. Bruce for an in depth historical review of the events).

Scarce, with a place holder but no institutional holdings attached in Worldcat/OCLC.

Price: $150.00